Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best inflatable raft 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2019
Best inflatable raft of 2018
Simply review and buy them. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. Below you can find 3 reviews of the best inflatable raft to buy in 2018, which I have picked after the deep market research. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this inflatable raft win the first place?
I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
№2 – OKPOW Electric Portable Air Pump 110V AC/12V DC Quick-Fill Air Pump for Inflatables Air Mattress Raft Bed Boat Pool Toy
Why did this inflatable raft come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture.
№3 – Intex Explorer 300
Why did this inflatable raft take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials.
inflatable raft Buyer’s Guide
Technically not really a pontoon boat, but we decided to include them in the buyer’s guide because of their similarities. Inflatable float tubes are for the fishermen that want to get up close and stalk their fish. Instead of standing at the bank hoping the fish will come to you, you come to fish instead. It’s basically a inflatable seat with a couple of pockets and to power the boat you paddle with your feet.
Inflatable pontoons without any frame look a lot like dinghies, they behave pretty much the same way. The only real difference is the motor mount and the few added accessories that most frameless pontoons come with, swivel seats and rod holders are one of the most common accessories. These are easier and faster to set up compared to pontoons with frames, they also take up less space. They are versatile as you can both row them or use a motor.
If you want to get the most out of your lake fishing, a frameless inflatable pontoon is highly recommended, you’ll be able to go further, fish in more water conditions, store more gear and if you want to, you can stand up and fish.
Pontoons With Frames
Pontoons with frames are another hit among fishermen. Instead of a hard wood floor, they have pockets and bags to store all your fishing gear. They get you closer to the water than a frameless pontoon, not as much as a float tube but just enough so you can reach down and grab a fish from the water. Just like the floating tubes, framed pontoons give a more ‘personal’ feeling to your fishing. It’s hard to explain but it’s almost as you’re one with the lake, it’s definitely a different side to fishing. If a float tube had an upgrade, it would be this.
Gently used return
A gently used return is a boat that the previous owner returned to the manufacturer after a short period of time. In most cases, you will find that the boat is hardly used. The main reasons for the return are due to purchasing the wrong style or a similar issue. It may have some cosmetic damage but there is no fundamental problems. Generally this is the best option available.
The seller must list details of any repairs in the listing. However, it is still important to ask the seller about previous accidents and major repairs.
It is best to double check for any repairs and assess the workmanship. Any work completed by a professional should present no further issues as the repair normally has a 1month guarantee. So take the repairers information and the repair date in case of future problems. If you can see that the repair is amateur, you can either decide to purchase the boat and complete the repair as soon as possible or avoid buying the boat.
Another indicator of a repair is glue smears. These dark brown smears are difficult to remove so can indicate a bad clean up job at construction or amateur repairs. It is best to check this with the seller. It is worth asking them to pull at that section of the fabric to show it is secure with good sticking power. You don’t want your tube to become unstuck whilst out boating.
You need to inspect the tubes carefully for damage, pinhole leaks and repair patches. We recommend to check the material for signs of sun damage. Also check for signs of any paint work as using the incorrect product will negatively impact the lifespan of the inflatable boat. Another aspect to carefully check is the hull to tube attachment, this should be secure and free from glue stains indicating hasty repairs.
You must check that the buoyancy tube baffles are structurally sound. You need to check these thoroughly for any issues and if they are blown. You just need to fully inflate one air chamber and deflate the adjoining one. This will allow you to hear any air transferring to the deflated section. Just place your ear close to the baffle (the divider between the chambers) of the inflated section to increase any sound.
Most inflatable boat seams are covered with tape. Some models use a lightweight protective tape, others use the same fabric as the boat for the tape. You need to check the tape for signs that it is lifting and becoming detached from the seams.
You can easily repair the protective tape using a bit of glue to stick it back down. On the other hand, tape made from the same fabric as the boat can be a sign of further problems. It can indicate that the main attachment between the seams is damaged and becoming unglued. We recommend you consult an independent expert before proceeding as this can be very expensive to correct. If you are unsure of the material, consult an expert or the manufacturer for further information as early PU and PVC boats were prone to problems with the seams.
There is rarely a problem with inflatable boat floors. You do need to make sure that the floor functions correctly and there isn’t any excessive wear.
If you are buying a RIB, the floor does become spongy with some brands. This is caused either by fuel or water ingress damage to the plywood base or it has become detached from the bearers. If the floor is delaminating for any reason, this is an expensive and difficult repair so it is best walk away and choose a different boat to buy. If the floor is detached from the bearers, a professional boat builder can often easily repair this.
You need to look carefully at the transom at the base and around the bearers knees to make sure there is no serious damage. There is often small cracks at the base and this will occur more frequently if there isn’t support provided by proper knees. You may see cracks in the top of the knees but this doesn’t always indicate a serious problem.
It is important to check the fuel tank is functioning correctly as it is often linked to breakdowns on the water. There are many reasons that the fuel tank may have a problem but it usually caused by polluted fuel cold.
You need to check all sections of the fuel tank including the breathers, outlets and fittings and make sure it is not leaking. This is a potentially deadly problem which is expensive to repair. You may want to pressure test the fuel tank to check for problems. This is best checked by a qualified surveyor or engineer as it requires expert knowledge.
You must check the hull for cracks and serious crazing, if there are any signs you should inspect them thoroughly. It is not a structural problem if there are compression cracks, chips in the chines or minor star grazing, as these usually indicate cosmetic damage.
You must treat hairline cracks across the beam and longitudinal cracks with great suspicion. It indicates a loss of strength which may result in expensive repairs or worse the hull will flex. This type of crack is often caused by major use or accidental damage. You don’t want this when buying a new boat.
Seating and console
The seating and console do not cause serious issues but it is best to check it over. The most important part to check is the floor attachment of the console, you don’t want this to break out. You should check for the condition and any obvious damage of the seating and console including the hinges, upholstery and strength.
Please note, we are only providing a common sense guide for this legal information. We do not have any law or legal training at The Leaky Boat. We are not responsible for any issues that arise and it is entirely at your own risk if you decide to follow our guidance.
Just a few last points
We recommend you check that the whole package works together. You want to ensure the motor, inflatable boat and trailer are all compatible. You want to make a great investment and a reliable craft is key to this.
You need to make sure the boat and trailer is properly and regularly maintained. You should to pick a boat which is used regularly within its limits because a rarely used boat or heavily used vessel can lead to trouble.
PVC versus Hypalon
Hypalon, on the other hand, is a weighty, expensive, and extremely robust fabric. That’s why it’s commonly used in the construction of heavy-duty RIBs. Plainly then, your buying decision should be based partly on budget but also on your intended usage. If you want to keep your tender ready-built and routinely exposed for frequent use, then Hypalon is the answer. However, if you want a more compact and portable boat for less regular use and for stowing away between outings, a modern, lightweight PVC craft is likely to prove the better compromise.
Consider portability, longevity, and cost when comparing PVC and Hypalon.
Even on an entry-level budget, basic accessories (oars, seats, a pump, a repair kit, lifting points, and a carry bag) should be included in the price. But you should also look for multiple air chambers for safety, plus an inflatable thwart for extra strength. Those with a pronounced inflatable keel have improve directional stability, and optional fins and tabs can help tweak the handling. Think also about investing in some wheels for transporting your tender up and down docks and beaches. And if you intend to buy a small outboard, you should consider electric power for cleaner, simpler stowage and transport. Whatever type of outboard you use, an extended tiller can help you shift your weight forward, for easier planing and a flatter ride.
The cruising boater or silver-haired grey navy sailor would be well served by what is commonly termed a boat-in-a-bag. This is about as simple as boating gets. Compact, durable and inexpensive, basic roll-ups sport an inflatable collar and flexible synthetic rubber floor, the latter often reinforced with timber or composite slats that facilitate folding and add rigidity. Most are supplied standard with paddles/oars and can be folded down into a carrier the size of a golf bag, while many have rigid transoms capable of supporting an outboard.
Capable of a substantial payload once inflated, a 2.4m Plastimo Raid P240SH inflatable, for example, is rated to 5hp, with a capacity of three adults and a maximum load of 350kg — all this in a boat that can hide in the lazarette and the boot of a car. They’re great as a cheap tender and just right for fishing in shallow and skinny waterways. Add a small 2hp engine, a couple of two-piece rods and a splash of fuel, and you’ve got a stealthy boat that can access backwaters and creeks where you’d never get a conventional 10ft tinnie.
The best part, you get all of that for just a couple of grand — including the rods and fuel.
In recent years you may have caught New Zealand’s unique Sealegs boats performing party tricks around the Aussie boat-show circuit, morphing from rock crawler to tender extraordinaire before your very eyes. Available with either a fibreglass or alloy hull, Sealegs is a category unto itself and this innovative craft did itself proud in the aftermath of last year’s Queensland floods.
Predominantly outboard-powered inflatables require no more effort than any other boat to maintain in as-new condition. To maximise your inflatable’s lifespan, follow these simple guidelines: • If you normally have a shower after a dip do the same for your boat, a 10-minute washdown is all it takes. If you have a boat-in-a-bag, air it once it’s rinsed off, much like you’d hang out a wet tent. Hang wet carpet on the lifeline or siderail to dry and pop some moisture-absorbing pouches in any storage locker. • Flush the engine after every use. I repeat, flush the engine after every use. • Tubes can be cleaned of grime and scum with a bit of elbow grease and a mild detergent, while products like Jiff or Scuff Orf will sort out stubborn stains. Wax any fibreglass hull surfaces and dress the interior vinyl with a protectant such as Armor All. • Check the tubes for correct inflation and for leaks. • A pressure gauge is an inexpensive investment as is a bucket of soapy water, which brushed onto the tubes will reveal any leaks through tell-tale bubbles. Punctures are easily fixed with the supplied repair kit.
Choose kayaks with thick PVC, vinyl and tarpaulin materials, which may or may not be combined with a semi-rigid frame for added stability. You want to ensure that the kayak will not be easily punctured by sand, gravel and debris when inflating, deflating, and dragging it across the shore and when paddling it on water. The thicker the material, the more puncture-resistant it will likely be.
Select kayaks that users have reviewed as being stable, nimble and maneuverable. For stability, you should look at both the overall design and the hull design to determine whether the kayak will stay upright most of the time. In general, the wider its dimensions, the more stable the kayak will be, especially when the pontoon sides are larger and the floor is very rigid.
For maneuverability, you should consider your kayaking goals – where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and what the environmental conditions are. Keep in mind that a fishing kayak will be designed differently than a touring kayak, which will affect their respective maneuverability.
A rule of thumb: The shorter it is, the quicker its response. The slimmer and longer it is, the faster it will. You can take this rule of thumb into account when choosing between, say, a fishing and a touring kayak.
Outside Television presented a show on inflatable kayak. This video can clear you how to choose a inflatable kayak and what type of think you have to check before choose.
You want a lightweight inflatable kayak that can actually be carried in a carry bag by a single person. But you also want a kayak with a high weight limit, such as 500 pounds for a two-person kayak, especially since you have to take along your basic supplies.
The weight capacity of the kayak will also determine the number of gear that you can take along on your trip. Be sure not to overload your kayak as tipping over is a risk here.
You will likely be kayaking for at least an hour, perhaps even half a day when you’re fishing and touring at the same time. You should then look for comfort-related features, such as adjustable seats with backrest, adjustable footrest, and easy-to-access cargo gear for your food and drinks. And don’t forget to buy for you. Its keep your eye safe.
If you’re gearing up to purchase an inflatable kayak then you will want to look into the best that the market can offer. You want to make sure that the kayak you buy is the last purchase you’ll make for a very long time. It has to be suitable for the conditions you are planning to use it in and it has to be at a reasonable cost.
Before you start looking into brand names, here is a look at the important elements that the best inflatable boat should have. Discussed below are the different types of inflatable kayaks and the different things you need to consider to ensure you get the best one for your needs and wants.
That’s where the
FireFly Kayak breaks out from the competition. It is very affordable, coming in at a low to mid-range price, and yet it can be assembled and ready for kayaking in mere minutes. It’s so lightweight than a single person can carry it on their shoulders and it is very durable for anything but the roughest water conditions.
It is one of the few kayaks that comes with a rigid bow and stern, built-in landing plates and tracking fins, and built with durable outer materials to ensure it won’t puncture even against rough collisions. The FireFly is literally a perfect kayak for beginners and veterans alike.
The Sea Eagle SE370K_P Kayak is a very different beast when compared to other inflatable boats offered today. While most are weak toys that track poorly, the SE370K_P is as tough, as versatile, and as useful as a hard shell plastic or carbon-fiber kayak. It is that amazing.
Its main features includes its PolyKrylar hull that enables it to ride Class rapids, a setting even the most durable hard shell kayaks often fail to survive in. The design and material of this kayak allows it to safely bounce off the rocks instead of ramming straight forward. Even when something pushes forward, the PolyKrylar hull ensures nothing can puncture through.
The Sea Eagle 330 is one of the best kayaks that you can purchase if you are looking for a simple but versatile kayak that doesn’t need a large truck to tow it out of your garage and to the riverside. Un-inflated you can fit the whole kayak and its equipment inside the duffle bag.
That doesn’t mean it loses points for durability. With its PolyKrylar hull you are guaranteed optimal durability. It is so strong that you can use this inflatable kayak while whitewater rafting up to Class rapids. You can also plug the self-bailing drain valve and turn it into the ideal canoe for fishing in calmer waters.
It’s affordable, and it is ideal for people looking for a simple to use but very versatile for both leisure and professional use. The Sea Eagle 330 is a perfect choice for those looking for more than a heavy, one-purpose wooden or plastic kayak.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your inflatable raft wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of inflatable raft
- №1 — Intex Challenger K2 Kayak
- №2 — OKPOW Electric Portable Air Pump 110V AC/12V DC Quick-Fill Air Pump for Inflatables Air Mattress Raft Bed Boat Pool Toy
- №3 — Intex Explorer 300